March 1, 2008

Saturday morning news

From the west coast comes this story about a Quaker teacher fired for altering her loyalty oath and is about as dumb as it gets. This woman actually read her loyalty oath, and thoughtfully signed it as an honest reflection of her values. But to do so, she inserted "non-violently" before "support and defend (the state and US constitution) and "affirm" instead of "swear."

Sure glad the loyalty oath people caught her. I feel safer already.


While I was at the San Francisco paper, this great column on the challenges facing the GOP if Obama is the Democratic challenger. Because, as he notes, the name calling (Obama's middle name) is too easy and will surely inflame the denizens of "Bush's 'Merka" into "loading up the bunker with Ding-Dongs and Coors just in case the Muslim radicals take over."
No, the problem for GOP strategists is not how to inflame the troglodytic, Limbaugh/Coulter-grade sects of the party who, assuming Obama goes the distance, are already hugely terrified of the notion of a black liberal president, given how he'll surely be a slippery slope straight to gay marriage and rampant lesbianism in schools and hourly shriekings to Allah as everyone's forced to give up their guns and drive a hybrid moped to the tofu store.

The true difficulty facing the GOP's henchmen in the coming months will be how to get those who are just a tiny bit smarter, calmer, less easily swayed, those on the right who might actually be a bit impressed and charmed by Obama's obvious intelligence and oratory power, to hate him, fear him, find his genuinely moving brand of hope and inspiration to be suspicious and problematic and even deeply dangerous.

It won't be easy. Because at the same time, they must make their own unlikely candidate, a feisty but fuzzy 71-year-old war hawk whose entire campaign is apparently now being fueled by a giant hunk of Cold War phlegm, the nauseating notion that not only is a perpetual state of war and aggression desirable for America, but is actually essential to a healthy and functioning nation, they must make John McCain's musty, patriarchal brand of regurgitated Republicanism seem fresh and visionary and not horribly regressive and embarrassing.


More on Hagee. Earthquakes are God's loudspeaker and he shouts at the gays and the liberals. Hear that, Cali-liberal-fornia?

So why doesn't God just "shout" at Iran and take care of this little problem?

Hilzoy notes that the comparison is not actually Farakhan,
it's the flap over Donnie McClurkin, the gospel singer who " has detailed his struggle with gay tendencies and vowed to battle "the curse of homosexuality,"", and who was invited to participate in some Obama events in South Carolina. The comparison is instructive.
And in stark contrast, Obama denounced the homophobia and actually did so in an African American church. To keep up, McCain would have to go to Hagee's Corporation church and preach tolerance toward Catholics and Muslims. Don't hold your breath.


leighton said...

When I was at UCLA, I heard of professors changing their oaths in an identical way, and nobody batted an eye. UC's attorneys apparently don't see any problem with the changes. I'm not sure why one of the Cal States would disagree. I read the California AG's comment as an unofficial endorsement of UC's interpretation over against Cal State East Bay's.

Mary said...

You mean signing statements aren't for the rest of us?

Kevin said...

Last night I was a scrutineer at one of the polling stations, for our provincial (Alberta) election (the bastards won their 11th straight majority) and I was given the option to either "swear" or "affirm" for my oath.

Interesting. What a bizarre thing to get your shorts in a bunch over.


leighton said...

Sure enough, the California AG explicitly sides with the professor and the UCs, and she is rehired.